Shish Kebarks and Why Human Grade Matters
Hi all! I’ve been on a little break, which is why we only posted one recipe last week. It’s a fun one, and pretty simple to recreate for your pups.
GREAT NEWS! Our first ever batch of Pup Pot Meals have shipped. It sold out in less than 24 hours. You can preorder our next run now. This run will be bigger than last so hopefully it will stay in stock for at least a few days. (Note: It looks a little different as the packaging has changed. The recipe is the same.)
Now for the SHOCKING news. As you may know, we only use human grade ingredients in our products. Recently, we wondered how much of difference there really is between human and feed (animal) grade. It’s much cheaper to use feed grade, so it’s tempting to do that in order to make more affordable products. But, as we researched the differences, we were appalled to discover what is allowed in animal feeds. This reaffirmed our decision to always use human grade. Below are some of the highlights of what we learned about pet foods:
There could be dead and diseased animals mixed in your dog’s kibble. Despite the practice being technically illegal, the FDA has discretion to allow it based on their judgement. Because of the amount of euthanized animals in the feed system, pentobarbital (a drug used to put down animals) is actively found in pet foods. See FDA announcement here.
The FDA is too busy to enforce rules. The FDA is responsible for monitoring everything related to food and drugs for humans and animals. Their top priority, of course, is people. So products intended for animals are given less attention. In 2016, a citizen petition was put forward to request the agency to actively prohibit dead and diseased animals from entering the pet food supply chain, but that petition was quickly denied.
Higher levels of toxins, additives, coloring and preservatives are allowed in pet food. Ethoxyquin, a synthetic preservative, is allowed in pet foods, but is banned in the human food system due to toxicity. Another example is aflatoxin, a known carcinogen, where similar amounts to humans are allowed, but loosely enforced (see point 2). Recalls of dog foods only occur when aflatoxins reach 10-20 times the legally allowed limit. By that point dogs are already dying.
Our mission is to be a source of top-quality, safe food for your pups. Since liver is one of the most nutrient dense food for dogs, and most available options are feed grade, we’ve decided to launch our own liver treats! If you like it we will launch more options in the future.
Not only are our liver treats super premium they are also gently heat treated after freeze drying to ensure any pathogens are destroyed. I feel 100% good about feeding these treats to Cedric and Edith. They are also great to add to homemade dog food, especially if it’s a challenge to find fresh liver near you. You can preorder bison liver here, and beef liver here.
Allergies to bison are very rare, so if you have a sensitive pup, it’s likely that these will be great for them.
Why is liver so nutritious?
It’s rich in vitamins and minerals: liver is a natural multivitamin. A great source of vitamins A, B (particularly B12), D, E, and K, liver is also high in minerals like iron, copper, zinc and selenium. Essential vitamins and minerals ensure a well functioning immune system, and are vital for skin health, brain function and energy metabolism.
Liver is a high quality protein: The building blocks of life, protein is essential for all the core functions in animals. From enzymes to structural components of cells, to signaling and transport, proteins make up the stuff that do things within cells.
Low in calories: Despite it’s rich nutrient profile, liver is relatively low in calories. This is especially important as dogs age and their activity levels go down. Older dogs still need all of the essential nutrients, but because of their lower activity levels they can easily gain weight.
Most importantly dogs LOVE liver. Since people usually don’t, it’s one of those foods that don’t compete with humans. As food scarcity is a growing theme, we want to make sure to keep sustainability in mind.
That’s it for this week. We hope that you’re having a great start to 2024.
All the best,
Joelle, Cedric and Edith